A recent Netflix binge unlike any prior involved a multitude of documentaries that expose precarious environmental conditions that have possible solutions. Below are the highly recommended picks.
This film starts out with flourish only nature can provide and the stark contrast in recent years that concerned the narrator. Grave facts about the current state of carbon in our planet's atmosphere would have left me worried and anxious about our plight as human beings. However, these facts were paired with possible solutions, including the international call to "re-wild" our planet. Buckle your seatbelts and prepared to be inspired.
This film talks about the carbon cycle and how we each can find a way to trap airborne carbon in the ground. Farmers and ranchers can change the way they use land so that they can grow a diverse range of crops and still raise animals for meat. When done well, topsoil increases and that fuels abundance for harvest time and therefore generates even more income than government subsidies. Well worth the watch.
This film brings you on a world tour to different places that are struck with access to clean water and how each locality is solving that problem. A memorable solution involves collecting moisture from the air and filtering that liquid to dispense drinkable water into a cup -- something from apparently nothing! Why, truly remarkable!
If the above solutions aren't enough to inspire you and you'd like to escape to South Africa to learn from the wild, then you may enjoy My Octopus Teacher.
DAY 2 OF #NOTSMARTWATCH EXPERIMENT
Okay... So my Smartphone crashed and battery replacement will cost nearly half of what it will cost me to invest in a brand new (albeit not latest) model smartphone and I needed a time-teller called a watch, a notsmartwatch because heck why spend that kind of money on a smartwatch either?
Observation 1: I FEEL IMPORTANT. I feel as if I have somewhere to be, somewhere to go, something to do.
Observation 2: I FEEL OFFICIAL. I don't look like I'm some doofus who is only casually checking my smartphone to idly pass my time with text, voicemail, internet browsing, etc.
Observation 3: I FEEL ATTENTIVE. When I am actively caring for young kids, I look like I am actually keeping my eye on them instead of appearing to be whiling away on a smartphone or smartwatch... Because, you know that once you've checked the time on your smartphone or smartwatch and you notice that incoming text/call/voicemail/reminder/etc you missed... Well then... your attention will definitely be divided between your conceptual duties and your babysitting/childrearing duties.
Observation 4: I FEEL PROFESSIONAL. Face it. Even if you were only checking the time at work using your smartphone, it does come across as somewhat unprofessional. Your coworker may wonder where your attention really is. Your customer thinks that you're goofing off, not really working, and that they might be blown off or dismissed or dissed or whatever. Don't even get me started on your bosses...because you know what they'll think? Why, your computer has the time built into its taskbar...so why must you check the time on your smartphone/watch?
Observation 5: I FEEL BEAUTIFUL, ELEGANT. Okay, this observation actually really depends on the style category of the watch you chose or choose to invest in. I happen to have gotten one of those feminine Rolex knockoffs at the local superstore that makes me feel elegant when I wear it. Not bad for a $13 (post-taxes) watch, yes? ;-)
Observation 6: I FEEL I HAVE MORE TIME. I probably do have more time. Without access to a smartphone/watch, I spend less time browsing through all the emails, texts, voice messages, etc. In fact, I spend zero time on such things.
Observation 7: I FEEL FOCUSED. Checking the time on a notsmartwatch is a few-second endeavor that answers a what-time-is-it question. I fast-track the mental math to derive how much time I have before I need to get to the next to-do thing or to-be place. After checking the time, I can refocus and get right back to the task at hand.
Observation 8: I FEEL WELL-RESTED. The reduced exposure to blue light actually had me sleeping deeper. I woke up earlier and more well-rested! This goes back to Observation 6. I really *do* have more time. Caveat: since my smartphone/watch crashed I have only exposed myself to computer screen. Your results may vary if you still have access to excessive amounts of exposure to blue light.
Observation 9: I FEEL PROSPEROUS. A notsmartwatch keeps running and running and running... The only time I need to reinvest in it is to get a new battery for it in X amount of months/years. Saving money makes me feel rich.
Observation 10: I FEEL PREPARED. In case of emergency, such as earthquake or some other major natural disaster that cuts access to energy lines, etc, a notsmartwatch requires no such digital/electrical dependence. A notsmartwatch is an excellent addition to any go bag.
BOTTOMLINE RECOMMENDATION: A notsmartwatch is an excellent investment. So treat yourself. Treasure yourself. Get a notsmartwatch. Today. This PSA is brought to you by NSFW (Now Smart-Free Watchmom).
Want more of my insights? Check out my outdated Patreon page to sponsor my written expressions! http://www.patreon.com/gloriang
A wonderful alchemy occurs when people come together for a common cause: to write down, share and reflect about their life experiences. Although the book launch occurred about two months ago on November 12, 2016, I was once again struck by the synergy of how seamlessly the editor-facilitator strung together the book readings and the progression of the stories in this collection.
Each successive piece bulit upon the previous. The end product became greater than the sum of its parts. So true that, thanks to the Community Memoir homepage, "A story is the shortest distance between two people."
I would add: A story is also the shortest distance between two people across time.
One of the reasons it took awhile for me to post about this book is because the book is only available in print at the moment. I kept waiting for the ebook version to come out and realized that digital version won't be out yet. So you can purchase a print copy at the Community Memoir Project webpage.
My own contribution to the book is a piece called "The Yin and Yang of Loss." Below is the final version of the cover of the stand-alone work of the same name that I plan to publish later this month.
The topic of grief and loss takes time. I have found myself wanting to expand on the work that I initially contributed to the memoir anthology. I am about halfway through the illustrations in the book. I also plan to add a section at the end to generate discussion. Thanks for staying tuned.
...And here we are -- from the day of the book launch event. :-)
...and there is no pain reliever (e.g., Tylenol) in the house.
Yes, this is a 2 AM post due to a 1:30 AM wake up call to miserable wailing in the night. I've lost track of just how much the kiddo weighs at this point. At the last check-up at the doc's, the kiddo was 61+ lbs, which would have put the dosage to 12.5 mL (2.5 teaspoons) of the pain relieving medicine (if we had it in the house).
The first thing I did was not to look up the actual dosage to the above nonexistent meds in the house but to look up "holistic 'tylenol' for kids." I had no idea what my search engine results would fetch. Other terms I suppose that I could have looked up would have been: "home remedies for growing pains" or something else along the same lines.
Anyway, the first thing I saw were scary articles on the internet that warned people from using acetaminophen in the first place!
Shocked, I clicked on an article or two, as you could see from the purple vs. blue headlines in the search results. I didn't get past the first three search results to find out some startling stats from that first article I clicked on. Below are the main things that stood out to me.
Seeing that the information in the box was from a reputable source (Harvard University), I went down the checklist to see what kinds of groceries we had in the home.
Tomatoes. We didn't have tomatoes in the house. If we did, they had already been blended with onions and bell peppers for a soup base and stocked in the freezer. Out went the first item.
Olive oil. We had plenty of that. I gave my kiddo a teaspoon of olive oil. Then I went down the list and crossed out the rest.
Dark green leafy vegetables. We only had kale in the house, which took too much time to wash and cook and soften the stalky part of the vegetable. I suppose I could have given the kiddo raw kale greens (as opposed to the stalk). In all honesty, I did not think of the raw kale option amidst the on-demand wails at my ears.
Nuts. We did not have almonds or walnuts in the house. Out went that option.
Fish. We had frozen salmon, canned tuna and canned sardines. I put the salmon on the stove, then thought better of it and opened a can of tuna to heat up. All the while the kiddo was roaming the house, totally miserable and grieving from the pain in the knee in particular.
Berries. We did have frozen blueberries, but using the powerful in-house blender to liquefy these berries to enable fast assimilation and absorption would have woken up the husband. I was going to use the blueberries as a last resort, if the kiddo was still in pain.
Remember the salmon and tuna I had on the stove? Well, as soon as the tuna heated up (within five minutes), I gave the kiddo one or two tablespoons of it, since the rest of it was touching the raw salmon. The kiddo dutifully ate the tuna.
Since I had to stay at the stove for the salmon to be thoroughly cooked, as I was standing there the wailings stopped and the kiddo was entirely happy to go to bed. The raw salmon often takes about twenty minutes to cook. I'd say that I was a third of the way there when the kiddo retired to bed.
All in all, if I were to put a time frame to this debacle, the anti-inflammatory foods worked within twenty minutes. Not bad, eh?
Like my posts? Please support my writing at Patreon.
Rage has three weights, two directions and only one way out, which is through. We know we are through with rage when the same trigger that used to push on our buttons no longer elicits any charge from us. We no longer fly off the handle. Instead, we feel immense appreciation and gratitude for the weightlessness, the lightness, the freedom that we feel. This book is about that offloading process of lightening up.
As a holistic health practitioner in one of her past occupations, Ng shares her six-step healing process of shedding those weights through working definitions, personal anecdotes, and exercises designed to move us past reaction and into responsive action. Turn rage-IN’ to OUTrage that affirms the sanctity of life and settles at nothing less than peace, love and compassion for all living beings--especially ourselves and the people who surround us.
Feel lighter by going through the process of LITRRR (pronounced as lighter) to alchemize reactive rage into responsive action.
THE ALCHEMY OF RAGE is informed by holistic health educator Gloria Ng’s personal and professional experience in the healing arts for over a decade.
Note: Due to the nature of some of the exercises in this book, please consult the medical advice of physicians in matters relating to your health particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Exclusive iBooks preorder price is $1 off regular price!
Get it here!
You know how sometimes you find the perfect box, the one that you think describes you to a tee and can communicate that across to someone perfectly well ...
...only to find that every time you think you've found the perfect box, then you find some way to break out of it?
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. So a couple months ago, I thought I was writing self-help memoir and genre-blending nonfiction. Now, I don't really know what that label is.
So, the reinvention of self continues...
My latest post is about On-Call Oral Healthcare for Tooth Abscess.
#healthyteeth #teethforlife #toldyouso #kidscanlearn #itsnevertoolate #constantselfimprovement
I can hashtag even more. Wouldn't you? Especially if you were called up at 4 A.M. in the morning, R.E.M. time?
Well, you can read more here.
Gloria Ng is boxing her way out of another cardboard box. So glad to recycle, reuse, refresh and renew in spirit with Earth Day. You can support her writing on Patreon.
Over four years ago, one day after Christmas, a fellow mother and I met to brainstorm about a book project. About four months later, this baby was born -- an anthology specifically for the new mother and the swift delicate changes that affect her, her home, her family, her baby. Today, four years later, I'm offering three free ebooks to three lucky winners! See below for more information. :-)
Support here: http://www.patreon.com/GloriaNg
Thanks for stopping by. I'm really excited to jumpstart my genre-blending nonfiction on PATREON.COM to fund my latest project in self-help memoir.
For those of you not familiar with Patreon, it's a subscription site for people to support artists on a recurring basis. In essence, you'll be a patron of the arts, someone who supports artists and get special attention from such artists in return.
WHO I AM (aka WHERE I COME FROM)
I've had many hats up to this point in life before I returned to my first love, one which I found in third grade during a week-long thematic unit on careers.
At the beginning of the week, I had struggled to find my calling. All my classmates seemed so certain that they wanted to be doctors, dentists, lawyers, or whatever their parents did.
Unlike my peers, I didn't have a ready answer. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I also didn't want to do what my parents did for a living, because they often came home grumpy. I wanted my work to be something I felt passionate about, something I liked to do.
By the end of Career Week, inspiration struck.
I was an avid reader.
I loved stories.
Everyday I'd come back from home with a backpack stuffed with so many books I could hardly zip it shut. (Yes, it was heavy.) I even spent many recesses indoors (yes, I was that girl) to help the school librarian shelve books, color code spines, organize the card catalog (antique, isn't it?), and play doctor by taping up pages after a tumble or tear.
However, the school library was only so big. l eventually ran out of my favorite kinds of books to read (e.g., biographies, series, fables, myths, legends, folktales, lore). What else could I do?
(hands smack cheeks, mouth in an O, brows raised, eyes wide, silent scream)
Why didn't I think of it before?
Why, I could write stories.
That moment--when inspiration met expiration--was immense and unparalleled bliss. Cloud nine. Hands down. Swoon. Hands over heart. (Okay, I wasn't ever that dramatic. In real life.)
I was so overjoyed, though, to discover my calling that I barely contained myself when I explained to my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up. Because I lacked the proper vocabulary to tell her in Chinese, I used the English word: author.
Mother blinked, then asked me what an author was. When I explained what it was in Cantonese, elaborating that an author writes stories for people to read, the beginnings of a grimace formed on my mother's brow-furrowed face.
"What kind of people do that?"
At a loss for an answer, my only defense came when I rescued a new acquisition from the school library. I'd especially kept the books as wrinkle-free as possible. These babies were sacred.
The book I retrieved was a freshly re-released paperback from Gertrude Chandler Warner's Boxcar Children series. I dutifully--gingerly--showed my mother this prime example of someone who actually had a career in writing stories.
"She's an author!" I answered proudly, buzzing with enthusiasm.
"Who do you know actually has that kind of job?"
Obviously, of course published authors are published. What my mother meant was: Who in our (immigrant) community of (Chinese) people (in the U.S.A.) did thatfor a living?
Of course, I couldn't think of anyone. In fact, every story I'd read so far was largely written by non-Chinese people--by Americans. White folks.
Translation: If you're not a white person, can you actually be an author?
My mind drew a blank. My shoulders sagged. My chest caved in. No one I knew wrote anything, not the next door neighbor, not anyone we had met, not anyone we knew.
"Can you really make a living from this?"
That last question became the proverbial nail in the coffin for me, one that sealed the writing career gateway for the next thirty-ish years of my life. I never saw writing as a viable career anymore. In the space of minutes, I internalized and relegated creative writing to the level of a childhood hobby.
Nevertheless, the eight-year-old me then fumbled for an answer and replied, "I can do what this author did. I can teach kids during the year, then write during the summers." Thank you, Gertrude.
I knew I'd settled. I had accommodated my vision, my calling. I'd given up on myself, my dream. Yet, I mustered the biggest smile I could, even though inside every sense of pride and zealous awareness had deflated to despondency.
Thirty-ish years later, I've come full circle. I've embraced the part of myself thatsings when I put words on the page, on the screen, in print. I love creative writing, its transformational power of making peace with our pasts and being fully present for our future. I also absolutely adore and find it utterly breathtaking when I myself as a reader am struck by the the amazing impact a writer speaking one's truth can have on readers.
And so, I write. I have to. I must.
WHAT ART I'VE PRODUCED THUS FAR
I am a writer who loves putting my work out there as soon as I'm done writing it. The immediacy of indie publishing gives me real-time organic feedback from readers. That is why I am indie, not traditional, and haven't looked back.
Besides, what I feel called to write varies and often isn't considered marketable because of the genre-blending. Mainstream publishers wouldn't know where to put me and my current work.
That wasn't true over ten years ago, when my personal narratives were anthologized in a few traditionally published books. The most popular book that still makes some sort of bleep today is Yell-Oh Girls! Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American.
I also dabbled in children's fiction since. Name Games: A Multicultural Children's Story was initially published as Name Games in an award-winning international literary magazine called Skipping Stones. The story stars a Nigerian American girl whose best friend is Chinese and whose name could be interpreted as something derogatory in Spanish. I loved exploring the cross-cultural spaces that our increasingly globalized urban areas pose upon our children in this story.
Since 2011, when my first bilingual children's nonfiction picture book came out, I have been independently published in ebooks, audiobooks, and paperbacks. I went on to edit an anthology of writings for new mothers, addressing in particular the tough and delicate challenges of the fourth trimester and first year postpartum with Baby #1. This book went on to make two #1 Amazon Bestselling Lists in Motherhood and Parenting.
I've even blended genres in my latest work, Birth Formations, which integrates lessons learned in the healing arts, in mindfulness, and in birth.
WORKS I'D LIKE TO PRODUCE
I am a genre-blender, a creator of new forms of expression. To be honest, none of the ebook retail sites house appropriate categories to define my work. I think that in-between space makes it difficult to earn more than two digits of royalty income per year from all my books.
So I'll strive to describe what I am doing and what I plan to do at best.
Part memoir, part self-help, part Buddhist, Birth Formations: What Multiple Home Births Teach About Living, Laboring, and Mothering in the Now informs my next work about loss and gain that draws heavily from memoir and integrates applications and insights from Buddhism.
Besides the practical "proof" I've manifested out of Buddhist practice, I also have projects I've tabled indefinitely. This includes my reflections on parenting my children in their three homelands: Nigeria, Hong Kong (China) and United States of America. Someday, I'd like to add these reflections to the literature available on multicultural, interracial, and mixed race America.
Despite receiving my Diplomate in Homeopathy with a special emphasis in Flower Essences, I have yet to reconnect with the energy of flowers and share the gifts of their stories. That project hasn't quite taken shape yet, in terms of structure and core content.
In addition, I have some groundbreaking work to publish in feng shui astrology, a field in which I studied in an intense year-long classical feng shui program. I'm really excited to get this project off the ground.
I also have other children's books with text and translations that have yet to be put out in digital and paperback formats. Formatting text for publication requires far less legwork than formatting text and images. Even more legwork is required when the formatted text has foreign accents and/or characters that do not show up correctly in an ereader.
For the bullet point format, these are the projects I'm itching to produce:
So yes, I have a lot of projects in the works. That's great. That's exciting. That's cool. They keep me chugging along, showing me the light at the end of the tunnel.
However, as a full-time mother of young children who only gets to write when the kiddos get to bed, I am not operating at the pace and capacity I truly desire. Given my exhaustion levels and time constraints, I've had zero energy to arrange babysitting swaps, little money earned from book sales to hire babysitters, and definitely no peace of mind to even seek representation to sell and distribute my content to larger audiences.
The little time I do have I scrape together to put words to the page and get it onto a retail site to sell.
WHY I'M ON PATREON
Patreon is a business model that supports artists.
On a monthly basis.
Although Patreon allows support for an amount per "thing," the monthly support works better for me. Because? Well...
Let's face it. I'm a mother of three young children. I won't be producing any quality end product anytime soon. So you won't be charged one big lump sum when a product is actually completed. Instead, you are investing something every month, in a sustainable way, to get me closer to producing product.
With the monthly prompting, support and accountability to produce, I feel encouraged, spurred and inspired to produce something. To get my creations out in the world. In an interactive and sustainable way.
Already, behind the scenes I'm doing a lot of things that have gone unpaid:
Ideally, I'd like to produce more than one book a year. With your patronage, I'd like to bump up my annual production targets. How awesome I'd feel when I can deliver up to 12 works (digital, audio, paperback, translations) per year!
Ultimately, I'd like to be able to write for a living. I'd like my art to support my family of five in a place that has quite a high standard of living. Okay, it's not quite New York City. However, the East Bay is definitely impacted by the economic push-pulls in a metropolitan area.
On Patreon, I've listed milestone goals, things I'm striving for in getting to a full-time livelihood in the arts:
REWARDS (aka MY THANK YOU GIFTS)
Being a patron of the arts means financially supporting an artist so that the artist can spend more time creating art. In return, the artists can pay more attention to their patrons, give the patrons first pick or limited edition art pieces, or deliver special on call work commissioned by patrons.
Patreon modernizes such a concept, allowing artists to receive patronage online. It's up to you how much you can pay. You can put a cap (e.g., no more than $15 a month) so you never go over budget. Your credit card is charged at the end of each month. You can cancel any time.
In return, I can offer special attention when different minimums are reached. I can deliver these rewards at the beginning of each month after credit cards have been charged. Your monthly tip every month is exactly what will get me closer to my goal every month. Each tip tier includes previous tiers' rewards. So if you were paying $3 per month, you'd get both the $1 reward as well as the $3 reward.
*** DRUMROLL ***
TOP TIER REWARD IS A WAAAAAY PERSONALIZED THANK YOU!
Get to $1000 per month, and we'll need to talk. :-) No sense in giving a reward for something that won't be appreciated, right? We'll figure this out!
Regardless of the amount you can offer in patronage, however, I am grateful for your support and appreciate that you put your dollars where your values are.
HOW PATREON WORKS
To sum it all up, supporting my art on Patreon means that you agree to pay an amount of money for content I release on Patreon (let's say, $1 per post). You can CAP the monthly limit so you never go over budget.
The way I've set up my Patreon page, however, allows you to designate your support per MONTH instead of per piece of content I generate.
All patrons are charged at the end of the month. You can cancel any time during the month and be charged nothing.
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS!
As a full-time mom of three young children, the only time I have to write is when I have enough energy to do anything after they've gone to bed. I admit, some days I'm so pooped that all I can do is sleep. When flu season hit, I was out with back-to-back fevers for an intense two weeks.
That's why I'm so excited to participate in Patreon. I'm looking forward to generating content, no matter how small, EVERY MONTH on Patreon from now on.
As you've seen above, I actually have quite a few projects in the pipeline. I hope I can get them out into the world as soon as I possibly can.
If you want to read just as long a version about who I am, what I'm up to, how I'd like to get there, and how you can participate to get all this awesomeness out there, then visit my Patreon Page: http://www.patreon.com/GloriaNg
P.S. Interested in my past work? Visit my author page at:
Amazon | iBooks
Hi, I'm Gloria.
I strongly believe that motherhood is THE toughest and most important job women can ever have.
Just this morning, I met another mother at story time at my local public library. She told me about her sister-in-law, how postpartum depression had basically ruined her marriage. The quick change from independent woman to a primary caregiver mostly responsible for the life of another being that is completely dependent upon her, the lack of sleep, the lack of social support, and so forth resulted in her getting a divorce in the first year of her marriage. Although now remarried, it took her three years and intensive therapy to get out of the funk of postpartum depression and regain stability in her life.
Her sister-in-law's experience made me remember another friend's experience, who also divorced within her first year. Although her infant was one month old and her mother-in-law had come to support during the postpartum period, the two women were butting heads over infant care and she didn't feel she could say anything because she was supposed to be grateful. Plus, she wasn't supposed to make her husband choose between his mother or his wife, right?
As I meet more mothers and hear more experiences of their experiences and those that they have shared with me about other mothers, I increasingly remember why I felt so passionate about editing the new moms book I did two years ago. I wanted to gather as many mothers together to share their wisdom and practical advice as I could so that the next new mom could benefit.
I intended the book to be a compass, a rite of passage for new moms. This passion stems from my own experience with Baby #1: a home birth transfer (41 hours of labor!), poor latch (baby not getting fed), sore/cracked nipples for weeks (didn't have faith I could even continue with nursing!), no family or nannies or mama friends around, constant second-guessing (first of my immediate friendship circle to be a mom), low energy (can't go out much and meet/network with other moms) plus there's a new life (the baby) and housework (what? get out of bed?!) and of course my changing relationship (if I still had one!) with my mate . . . well, you get the picture.
Nothing around me prepared me for motherhood in the first 3 months after delivery nor the first year postpartum. I mean, I see a lot of books on pregnancy for life before delivery and then I see lots of books on parenting for life after delivery. Anything addressing the postpartum period for moms mostly talks about postpartum depression or how to get back to your pre-baby shape or weight! The lack of books addressing the delicate, quick, and often overwhelming transition into motherhood became very apparent.
Thus, I made it my mission to create a holistic book that encompasses as much of postpartum life as I could for new moms. I hope that you feel just as passionate about such a book that exists as I do and choose to gift this book to a new mom or mom-to-be in your life to make it easier for the next new mom you see.
Below is the blurb for the book. The digital edition is on sale October 15th at the bargain price of $0.99. Please help spread the word by sharing or tweeting this blog post (see below).
Thank you in advance!
HAND IN HAND, TOGETHER WE CAN
First-time moms strive to carry babies to term and experience easy labor. Few are prepared for the immediate challenges after delivery, the "fourth trimester." Thus, this unique and holistic collection of alternative tips and practical advice for Moms by Moms was born.
Deepen your breath with essential oils and clean air. Warm your tummy with nourishing foods. Feel your center and strengthen your core with intuition. Share and rediscover with your baby the joy of nature and language. Learn to ask questions, settle anxieties, and employ strategies when you suspect developmental delays. Equip yourself with a postpartum depression-busting wellness plan as well as a process to become sensational in the face of being a single mom. Plan ahead with finances and luck cycles. Most importantly, awaken refreshed from great “mountain” feng shui.
Let these amazing mama entrepreneurs and professionals from diverse fields of expertise hold your hand, save you time, change your life and give you more sleep!
FOR MOMS BY MOMS ABOUT MOMS
For the first time, new mothers can expect to find a book that is entirely devoted to smoothing out the rapid transition after delivery when creating a new family. This book, unlike many others, is focused on helping the new mom navigate all areas of care that a new arrival necessitates.
The chapters in this book emerge as five sections:
~ Mama Care, especially for the first six weeks after delivery (with yummy postpartum recipes from Traditional Chinese Medicine traditions)
~ Self Care, to give new moms permission to care for themselves (including essential oils and cultivating one's Mother Intuition)
~ Baby Care, to make motherhood easier for mama (e.g., cloth diapering made easy)
~ Home Care, for peaceful havens (indoors and out)
~ Family Care, for easing into parenthood with a significant other (including financial planning and adventures in multilingualism)
I am so pleased to be able to host a guest post by multiple authors from the newest Of Words and Water 2014 anthology in support of WaterAid. Author photos are courtesy of profile photos posted on Goodreads. Read about the people who have contributed to this anthology, starting with editor Jay Howard! Kudos to Jay for bringing a wonderful group of authors together for such a great cause!
Jay Howard, Author and Editor
Elizabeth Los, Author
It wasn’t until one night, while watching television of all things, that I discovered what it was. On the show, one of the characters had casually mentioned the term ‘sleep paralysis’. Though it wasn’t important to the plot and I had never heard of it before, nevertheless a curiosity sparked within me. That’s when I began my search for information.
I’ve found this to me true: the unknown is frightening. Not knowing why my body is acting outside the normal can be nerve-racking. And though the Internet can hold many wonderful resources, it can also be a detriment. When typing in my symptoms, I could have easily diagnosed myself with Parkinson’s, a malignant brain tumor, a viral/bacterial disease. The list is endless.
What is sleep paralysis? Our bodies are amazingly designed. When we fall asleep, the brain releases a chemical that causes a temporary paralysis, no doubt to ensure that our bodies receive the most amount of rest possible. When the brain has had rest and it is time to wake, the release of the chemical is halted. The body gradually returns to wakefulness and the chemical is now inactive, thus allowing the body to move again. What happens in sleep paralysis victims is when the brain wakes, the chemical is still being produced and, subsequently, the body is still being paralyzed for rest.
I’ve read articles in medical journals that speculate sleep paralysis has been experienced and documented for years. But in centuries past, the victim has felt a weight on their chest or body, as if something were sitting on them. Or, they’ve felt a “presence” in the room. It is hypothesized that these feelings or symptoms are the result of sleep paralysis. On my first experience, I had felt a presence in my room, but since coming to understand the condition, I’m no longer fearful.
Kerry Dwyer, Author
Gloria Ng, Yours Truly :-)
Download the new FREE eBook of short stories and poems from an international group of authors:
Of Words and Water 2014
No gift too small: no thought insignificant
Isn't that a strange paradox to have a book listed on Amazon without an author byline to it? I find it strangely paradoxical. Anyway, looking after three children under five during the day and squeezing time to either get my writing or self-publishing done, I somehow let some of these same habits of putting others first bleed into the writing I do for me and what I believe in! LOL
The snapshot I took above was in the delicate time window between twelve midnight and twelve noon on Sunday, June 29, 2014, since Amazon informed me that it would be a twelve-hour window before the updates to the book were available to load. So go ahead and enjoy a laugh on me. :-)
I love my local public libraries. They kicked off the summer reading program with a husband-and-wife traveling bee show for kids. I brought all my little ones there. Only the littlest one did not get a sample of the honey sticks. Between wildflower honey and blackberry honey, I definitely liked the blackberry more! Blackberry tasted lighter and sweeter, a bit more pure--it melted in my mouth faster and cleaner than the wildflower.
Wildflower honey has pollen from different kinds of wildflowers. If you're a pollen person and you like variety, then wildflower honey is for you. I learned so much in this show that I learned to look for raw or natural honey. Doesn't matter if the container says USDA organic, if the container doesn't sport the raw or natural label. Why?
Apparently, even "pure" honey can be diluted with 10% water and heated up to destroy its natural recurring enzymes and tunneled through to be bottled up really quickly in assembly line format. How modern for a process so ancient that it dates back to at least 80 million years old, according to carbon dating of a bee trapped in fossilized resin (amber).
Then of course I went to another event hosted by the library to kick off their summer reading program--West African drumming by someone born and raised in Ghana. Isn't a library supposed to be quiet for books? Well, for the rare occasion of such a guest, we welcome the rhythms and beats that are closest to our ancestral DNA. I bet you that drums, clave, or some other rhythmic instrument was the first to be "discovered" or used by our ancestors!
What a delight it was to see all the children playing drums, learning dance moves, and some in costume--including my oldest two children! The event was educational and entertaining enough for me to capture a few snippets via video, which is rare for me since I usually opt for still pictures. No, I won't be posting the videos. However, you can go to the drummer's website for more information.
One more thing I love about drums is being able to drum my applause instead of clapping it. I can "clap" much faster on a drum than I can with only hands! :-)
"Hear" the applause? It's for the libraries, the first lending library in America apparently dating back to Benjamin Franklin... So glad that between him and Carnegie we have more public libraries.
Then, the day after we went to see a comedy show hosted--guess where?--at the library. My kids came home saying the cheer, "Go Goofball!" Imagine a room full of kids, tiny tots to toddler age and all the way up to middle school ages all screaming those "magic words" for the clown show.
Yes, I love libraries... and so do the kids. Where else could I escape to--any place and anywhere around the world--but still be in the same spot, in the comfort of a chair sheltered from the elements encompassed by shelves upon shelves of books all in one building? Don't even get me started on Overdrive, the electronic book database accessible to library patrons!
I've been writing the first draft of a book to honor home births and was in the midst of writing about a lesson I learned from Pam England's book, Birthing from Within. Then I thought why not write a blog post about it?
So here I am writing this up.
As you know, art is powerful beyond measure. Art stirs our imaginations and go beyond three dimensions. How art touches each individual is deeper than sight, sound, taste, touch, etc.
Yes, I appreciate art. However, I appreciate art that comes from within even more. Each of us has art within us that is only up to us to bring forth. Yes, each of us has many masterpieces to actualize into being. How sacred that within space is in each of us. That within space is beyond three dimensions. That within space is exactly what art can touch that nothing else seems to be able to touch.
So I appreciate art that I can draw. I also appreciate learning from this process and applying it to other processes within my life. Now that I have successfully given birth to three children through vaginal birth, I am certain I can apply the lessons I have learned to my writing career. So the first thing I want to do is to create a piece of art for my writing career.
So I send this intention out to my Dream Fairies and await the perfect vision to arise.
On another note, I was contacted by one of my fellow co-authors about formatting a chapter from the New Moms, New Families book I edited in 2012, so that the pdf file could be distributed to other new families.
What a joy to go through the information again and be able to contribute to the welfare of a new mother! Looking back, I can't believe how much work I put into putting the anthology together and how fast everything fell into place to make it exist!
Enjoying a mellow Father's Day weekend, I am once again immensely grateful for all the co-authors who contributed their wisdom to the anthology. I hope that one day, more families will benefit from our collective knowledge!
My third and final celebration goes to the existence of cloud servers, particularly document organizers such as Microsoft OneNote. I may be an absolute beginner in using such technology, but at least now I can use something else besides my Google Calendar to input notes that inspire me all in one day. With a document organizer app, instead of filing everything into one day, I can now input notes in specific and separate tabs/files of info! Yay!
Being a mother of three young ones, I really appreciate the constructive feedback I get from other adults who care about my child as much as I do. I really appreciate the people who are passionate about their jobs and passionate about the people whose lives they touch. I am humbled by their generosity and willingness to work with parents.
One other thing my child gave me on that last day of pre-K before summer break began was a piece of paper about the summer reading program. He handed the paper to me, saying that the teachers told him that it was for me. Looking at the brochure, I am also grateful for the amount of fun educational programming the local libraries invest upon to keep children entertained while school is out.
My kids also had their first exposure to the game Uno. I have not played that game in over twenty years! To be honest, it's close to thirty years ago. I couldn't believe that I had forgotten so many rules!
Then again, I haven't read the rules that came in the box. Why read the small print when I could rely upon the reporting of a seven-year-old to reinforce the rules?
Apparently, the rules shift between two players and three-plus players...
Over the weekend, I was also very pleased to take a rare trip to a Chinese language bookstore and have my eldest child pick up a VCD, pictured at left. Although the store insisted upon no refunds or exchanges and I had no clue if I could play the VCD on my computer, I decided to purchase it.
Well, impulse buys rarely work out! I went online to find a picture of this VCD set and found the list price (shipping included) at about half the price I paid for at the store! I could say that I made a mistake not to check resources online. However, I think the trip was a good thing, though, because I exposed all of my kids to the bookstore environment--one that has a lot of Chinese language books, games, CDs, VCDs, and more.
On top of that, I came home inspired to complete minor edits for my short memoir, Well Water Woman. Rereading certain portions of the text, I'm still blown away by it at times and found myself reading it again just for the heck of it. Also, as I revised, plans for the next short memoir in the Grandmothers series started trickling. Although I already knew that this next book would be about my maternal grandmother, I didn't realize exactly what I would put into it until later. The title just came to me today and so I will be working on it very soon...
For now, I am looking forward to the day when I complete the current work I am writing on home births. Check out my Goodreads exclusive giveaway for a signed paperback copy of my bestselling ebook, Mama Gloria's Sunflower Garden. Click below to enter!
This week, I'd like to celebrate ratings--both good and "bad."
On the good side, I got my first five-star review on my first independent book that isn't a children's book on Well Water Woman. In fact, it is on the Kobo Top 100 at #83 in Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality, New Age, Reincarnation!*
Another thing I'd like to celebrate is receiving the lowest review on one of the books I've written under one of my pen names. Having received an average of four-star ratings under another pen name, receiving such a low-star rating for this one pen name allowed me to feel immunity. If I hadn't received the higher ratings I did from the prior pen name, then I'd for certain feel crushed. However, reading the low-star reviews by authors outside of my genre made me see that these fellow writers had little experience with my genre. One of the authors I truly appreciate, whose name I cannot recall at the moment, said it this way: If you get a one-star rating, that means the wrong reader found your book. I'm inclined to agree, because a fellow author in my pen name's genre raved about my book and said it was some of the best stuff she's read in our genre.
The contrast tells me I'm on track toward growth in skill, readership and eventual sales numbers. If you run, you feel the wind--you feel resistance. So of course, I'd see the other end of a five-star review. I'm glad I can see that now--both the up side and the down side and feel equanimity instead of the roller coaster of emotions I used to feel before.
Plus, what also helps is being proud of my own work. I got awesome feedback from an editor about a piece I adapted from Well Water Woman for a WaterAid anthology that is coming out in December 2014. The creative process excites me, and I'm so glad that I have finally learned that life is about moving forward, beating to your own drum and making a mark unique to you. We each come with our own mission to accomplish and I am in the midst of mine. I'm on the path, and that's what I'm most grateful for.
*Note to aspiring authors: One thing I learned early on from my Amazon Kindle bestseller, Mama Gloria's Sunflower Garden, is that just because our works earn the title credit of "bestseller" that it does not necessarily translate to amount of sales in that particular category. In other words, some categories sell faster or more than others. So even though I can rightfully claim "bestselling author of" on the front covers of any books I henceforth publish, the credit does not feel legitimate until I've actually achieved the sales numbers to match the title credit. In the meantime, this categorical spin makes a nice twist to the adage "fake it until you make it."
Find Me Here:
Today, I attended my last celebration call with two awesome women. Together our experiences spanned several decades, the rural-urban divide, healing arts, motherhood, life and death, and so much more. Our ties--our calls--first began in 2011.
In 2010, I participated in a self-paced online entrepreneurial coaching program designed to help other entrepreneurs launch a similar kind of program. The facilitator of the program often led calls that were upbeat and inspiring. Homework was clear and exciting. Participating in the Q&A calls helped me stay connected with my peers who were also moving forward with upgrading their services, making them web-friendly. So it was easy to stay motivated and hear about their successes. I often looked forward to those calls.
At the time, as a first-time stay-at-home mother of an infant who hadn't quite let go of the concept of working, I was interested in creating an online consultation adaptation of my on-site feng shui consultations. I thought I would create a video series, conduct Q&A group calls, and also have one-on-one clients.
The factors I did not consider were related to the background noise. I realized soon enough that I could not successfully record my videos without interruption. Nor could I conduct any calls without disruption due to my child's unpredictable needs. Neither were my one-on-one client sessions professional in that the receiving party would have to cope with my child on the line.
Because I could not progress fast enough (or quantitatively so) with crafting my own online program, I eventually abandoned offering the online version of my feng shui services and even offered a heavily discounted on-site consultation for a fellow mother just to test out how it would be if I brought and wore my infant for the session. Although the mother was very grateful and understanding and even reportedly benefited from my session, out of integrity for the professional provider-client relationship, I chose to close the door on offering any more feng shui services--online and on-site--for an indefinite amount of time.
Needless to say, I was feeling pretty depressed that somehow I was now limited to only my role of mother. Plus, I was already "behind" in my self-imposed, self-paced studies. I felt stuck and isolated, suffering from undiagnosed postpartum depression. Because I was also the first generation to ever stay at home as a mother, I had a huge learning curve. I was so used to being a Type A personality, constantly doing something, that I suddenly didn't know what to do with myself. Caring for a baby required a whole set of other skills, ones I had very little prior transferrable skills. Everything I had in my life prior to motherhood, everything that fed me or refreshed me, everything that was uniquely for me--everything was gone.
Stripped to the bone was how I felt. No, I felt stripped to the bone marrow, recalibrating every cell of my existence in this journey forward in motherhood.
As the weeks turned into months of stagnation and no one else seemed to be able to relate to my situation, I realized I was quickly spiraling into a nameless state of ever-mounting angst.
About a year into my self-paced studies, the facilitator of the program mentioned an opportunity--a weekly 30-minute celebration call that was optional for participants to sign up for. Each call would have four people present, each person to share their celebrations for five minutes. After each person shares their celebrations, other people on the call take about two minutes total to acknowledge the celebration. The premise of the call was to presence the importance of celebrating our accomplishments--no matter how small. When we celebrate, we raise our vibration. When we celebrate in a group, we raise our vibration by quantum. So I jumped at the chance to participate in this extracurricular activity.
I looked at the list of people who had already signed up to moderate a group and quickly entered my name in one of the groups. Several things kept changing before the first call as the sign-up dust soon settled. When it came down to it, two people dropped and only the moderator and I were left in the group. So the moderator called a friend of hers, who was willing to join, and we proceeded as a group of three. Although another woman joined and participated in our group infrequently for awhile, she transitioned out when the year ended and another began. Then a man joined our calls infrequently as well. Throughout most of our calls, I made it to celebrate with the moderator and her friend.
At the beginning of our calls, I learned that the three of us shared our passion in the healing arts. Beyond that, I was uncertain how much I could contribute. I found the task of celebrating kind of like a muscle. Every week, I went to my celebration gym. Early on during the calls, I was unsure about just want to mention. I was also quite unsure about myself being in the group given that I was just over thirty and the two women on the call were going through menopause. As I grappled out of postpartum depression, each week I struggled to find one or two things to mention for our call.
As our calls moved forward though, we found many ways to connect with each other and many things to celebrate. We learned so much from each other. Every call required an unspoken commitment to make the call and celebrate our lives. Every call started with celebration--of both "good" things and "bad"--and ended with so much appreciation. The experience was profound and beyond words.
Over the three years of our calls together, I have given birth to two children at home and travelled overseas to two other countries with young children under three. I awakened to my mission to take my writing seriously and proceeded to change my focus from entrepreneurship to indie authorship. Embracing my mission I expanded my writing portfolio, previously limited to personal narratives in several traditionally published nonfiction anthologies, to include indie published editorship, short memoir and novellas. I transformed from wayward soul to anchored citadel with the fortitude to forge onward with my vision to fill the world with my words and someday make a livelihood from sharing them.
I wrote this blog post in honor of these two women and the other two participants who were able to celebrate with us for a short while. Even writing love letters would be insufficient to describe the gratitude I have in participating in these calls. So I realize the best way to continue to honor our connection is to carry on the celebration at least on my end.
Thus, I will do my best to celebrate and/or post a celebration every week. When my alarm goes off for the time that we shared for our call, I'll take that moment to think of a few things I would like to celebrate. For now, for this post, I will share my first online celebration in honor of our calls.
What I'd like to celebrate right now is having more writing projects than time to fulfill them. As I write every word, I feel as if I am accomplishing more and more of what I have been set here on earth to do. That feeling of single-minded devotion to one's unique mission is so rich that I desire every person to be able to experience that in his or her lifetime.
I'd also like to celebrate that in one of my genres of fiction, which I write under a pen name (yes, I have more than one pen name for each genre I write), I received praise from a peer who said that as a reader and an author that my writing was the best she's seen in our genre. She wanted to know who edited my work, which I admitted I did because at this time I earn nothing under that pen name and couldn't afford a professional editor. Now if only praise like that actually translates into sales . . . and no, I will not be sharing any of my pen names with anybody. (Even my husband does not know them.) I look forward to the day when each pen name earns its own deserved reputation. :-)
That being said, the final thing I want to celebrate is that in the past two months, I have been averaging ten dollars a month on my writing--most of which stems from my nonfiction. Prior to that, I have only earned about ten bucks for the entire quarter. I am very pleased with this result because I have done no little to no book promotions or advertising other than infrequent (biweekly/monthly) tweets about my work. I'd much rather be writing when I have time. So ten dollars per month is a good thing. Readers, if you are reading this post, I thank you for supporting my occasional delights. I was able to purchase grapes today and hope that one day my income from books will support my family's groceries.
About the Author
Multi-published author Gloria Ng is an Oakland-based mother of three who writes on Owl Time. Her work has appeared in anthologies, including YELL-Oh Girls! Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American. (HarperCollins, 2001)
The lack of bilingual books to read to her children propelled her to create the Amazon bestselling Mama Gloria Chinese-English Bilingual Books series.
Gloria enjoys hearing from readers, writers, and reviewers at GloriaNg.com.
Find her at:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter for a free ebook on Cloth Diapering
As much as I disliked my first ever postpartum period in 2009, I have to say that this time around (my third postpartum period) has been full of inspiration.
Poetry, a constant companion in my high school hey days, returned in full force. One night I generated perhaps five haiku in one sitting.
I love haiku because it is a form of poetry where each syllable counts. You can only pack that much meaning in there. Each haiku is a challenge to do just that: pack as much meaning into 17 syllables as possible.
On another note, I am creating a Chinese-English bilingual book for newborns and infants. Because healthy eating, green parenting, and holistic living are all part of my passions, guess what? The photo above, of course, will star as one of the pages in my forthcoming release. I don't even know the title of this to-be-released work. I'll update you as soon as I can. Later! :-)
This book chapter on cloth diapering appears in "New Moms, New Families: Priceless Gifts of Wisdom and Practical Advice from Mama Experts for the Fourth Trimester and First Year Postpartum."
Elimination Communication (a form of diaper-free potty-training)
Easy cloth diaper laundering.
Day, night, and travel diaper systems
Meconium (1st week after)
Available at other major online booksellers in the coming weeks!
Well Water Woman is now live!
Well Water Woman is a personal narrative of a Chinese American female who explores and reconstructs her journey from girlhood to womanhood, spawning two generations of memories in an attempt to piece information about the life of a third generation predecessor— the paternal grandmother whom she has never personally met.
Each drop of dialogue, spoken and unspoken, contribute to the living legacy of this female ancestor through the present form or existence of the granddaughter.
This short memoir explores the inner workings of spirit through the cycle of birth, life, death, and eternity.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1amBI6n
More online booksellers to follow in the coming weeks! Happy New Year!
Hot off the presses!
...the front cover for the forthcoming short memoir
to debut no later than New Year's Day,
January 1, 2014!
For exclusive excerpts,
sign up for our newsletter.
(See top of column at right for directions.)
"See" you in the New Year! :-)
Okay, so these seven candles are not quite the kind that often find themselves in a Kwaanzaa celebration. Yes, I know how unsettling this may look. However, as the spirit of the holidays moves through us and that inner sanctum can never quite fully be represented in the material world, I will take the liberty to indulge in the spirit represented by the seven candles.
Kwanzaa is a Swahili word that literally means the "first fruits of harvest."
So here I am, on Christmas Day, wondering what I have to show for 2013 as a nonfiction writer. Well, looks like I have nothing so far. So imagine how it felt like to update my sad GoodReads profile, which had no author bio until I added it on Christmas Eve! As I was updating the profile and adding my latest author pic, I reflected about my 2013 advance as an author. Although I dabbled in a fiction genre (genre and pen name to remain undisclosed), part of me was not ready to just remain in the world of fiction and give up non-fiction entirely. I felt sad I had nothing to show for this year yet in the nonfiction arena.
Thus, I came up with my own personal writer's challenge: create an ebook by 11:59 P.M., Tuesday, December 31, 2013. That way, I can celebrate an accomplishment by New Year's Day 2014!
Think I can do it?
Yes, I can!!! The challenge starts now!!!
I LOVE the local public library. I find kindred spirits on shelves that are not mine (thank goodness or my house will be flooded with books from floor to ceiling, room to room!), kindred spirits who create community within and beyond their locale. By finding out from another reader just what she read brings me closer to her and the book's author. Books are so beautiful in that they are a record, a document, yet a connector and community builder. Books are a source of continual dialogue. I can read and reread a book and find new things.
Recently I have been reading of other writer mamas who have simultaneously launched their writing careers and their parenting lives. Reading about their experiences are so inspirational to me, for it was motherhood that prompted me to take my writing seriously.
Today I finally feel that I have found my mission to write the book that has been emerging from the depths of my life, a book that has been marinating in prenatal juices so deep that it was previously unforeseen. Today I welcome the coming of October 5, 2012, when a year from now I would have nearly completed my first book--the one that really matters to me, the one that only I can write.
I will be sharing my journey with you.
After consulting with a writer and editor who has 20+ years of experience in the publishing industry, I reluctantly begin this blog. You can say much of my life before was "anti-blog" or more accurately "anti-routine" or presumptively "anti-constricted living." I would dare to go as far as to say that blogging seems to be anti-freedom.
I imagine that blogging is enslavement that leads to a life of absolutely no freedom to write whenever I fancy. I imagine that writing consistently would become machinery and the spirit of the creative process would die. I imagine that my private life would not be so private anymore.
Then again, what kind of writer does not have a writing habit to get their writing project done? What kind of writer is his or her only reader? Can writing really exist without engaging the people and the world around us or at least reflecting upon these things around us? No writer can exist in isolation.
So here I am writing the first post to this blog and wondering what the rest of these blog entries would amount to. Ultimately, for what purpose shall I write?
Since motherhood is so fascinating to me right now, my blog shall be about motherhood and how motherhood transforms me. My identity keeps shape-shifting that even the book I originally thought I would write has continued to elude me in its constant evolution. Since there are so many one-year experimental living books out there, perhaps I ought to give myself one year to figure out the final evolution of my book on motherhood.
Gloria Ng is an Oakland-based holistic
mother of three. Amidst the demands of motherhood, she strives to create value by writing on Owl Time. Her work
has appeared in anthologies, including YELL-Oh Girls! (HarperCollins, 2001)